Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss that affects more than 10 million Americans. The disease occurs when the macula, the central part of the retina, deteriorates. This causes blurriness in the center of your field of vision.
While macular degeneration can’t be cured, you and your eye doctor can take steps to halt its progression if it’s caught early enough. The providers at Eyesight Associates have years of expertise treating patients with macular degeneration and other low vision conditions. To schedule an appointment, call 478-923-5872.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The retina is located at the back of your eye and is responsible for focusing light. The part of the retina called the macula focuses your central vision and allows you to see objects directly in front of you. When the macula is damaged, it can compromise your ability to see in your central field of vision.
Those with macular degeneration can still see objects in their peripheral, or side, vision. Therefore the condition does not cause total blindness. However, it can make reading or other activities performed close to the face difficult or even impossible.
Doctors are still unsure what directly causes macular degeneration. Several known risk factors include:
- Genetics: if macular degeneration is in your family history, you are more likely to get it
- Race: Caucasians are at higher risk for the disease than other races
- Smoking: smoking can double your risk of developing the disease
- Age: those 50 and older are at a higher risk of developing macular degeneration
Treating Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can’t be reversed, which is why it is so crucial to catch it early on. Regular checkups with your eye doctor, especially if you are over 50, will help ensure the disease is caught before it causes serious damage to your vision.
Laser retinal surgery can slow the progression of certain types of macular degeneration. Often, diet, nutritional supplements, and medication can prevent macular degeneration from worsening. Your eye doctor can provide a low vision aid, such as high powered glasses or magnifiers that may be able to improve your vision.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a low vision specialist at Eyesight Associates, call 478-923-5872.